From Raffi’s youth growing up in the Middle East to his urban American education and professional experience in two of the nation’s most prominent architecture firms, his perspective on architecture blends elements of old and new in ways that are not strictly bound by the formulas of the past or the fads of the present. Raffi’s work is best described as timely in function while timeless in form.
In some ways, Raffi’s design philosophy reflects his passion for philosophy itself, which he studied as an undergraduate at New York University. He begins each project by listening closely, to gain a complete understanding of what is important to the client. Raffi then studies the site to comprehend the physical assets and challenges of the site. Together, the direction of the client and analysis of the environment becomes a guide for Raffi’s design process.
After completing his studies in philosophy at New York University Raffi attended Temple University in Philadelphia and received his Architectural degree in 1984. After graduation he joined Mitchell Giurgola in Philadelphia where he was involved in the design and development of Fountain of Freedom, Suffolk County Supreme Court House, Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco, and the San Jose Hilton. In 1988 he moved to Chicago and joined Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill where he was involved in projects including the Plaza Rakyat in Kuala Lumpur and Armco headquarters in Saudi Arabia.
In 1993, Raffi started his own firm, a+c architects, with the philosophy of building a partnership. Raffi believes architecture is a collaborative art form in every step from design through construction. The ability to listen to clients and to respond to their functional and aesthetic needs is critical in developing a successful project. Great architecture is that which stands the test of time through understanding clients, professional integrity, great technical competence and the ability to creatively bring all of these elements into harmony.
CommercialCorporate headquarters, Commercial office buildings, Hotels, Retail stores/shopping centers, Restaurants & commercial kitchens, Entertainment environments, Medical offices, Theatres & performance spaces.
InstitutionalCourthouses, Churches, Community centers & athletic facilities, Preschools & daycare centers.
MedicalDental offices, oncology centers, medical offices, Outpatient facilities
ResidentialCustom residential, Historic preservation & adaptive reuse, Condominium buildings & townhomes, Mixed-use residential/commercial.